Farmers lead with Omega 3 project

Nine sheep farmers from the Llangwyrfon area, near Aberystwyth are to conduct innovative trials with the aim of producing a new niche-market lamb.

The progressive farmers have been given backing from HCC after coming up with a plan to produce a product that offers higher levels of Omega 3 fatty acids, recognised as an aid in preventing heart disease.

The group, set up under Agriscope, will investigate the possibilities of enhancing the Omega 3 content of their lamb using a mix of natural feeds that are high in long chain fatty acids.

The Food Standards Agency reports that Omega 3 helps to prevent heart disease and is also important for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Derrick Davies of Bryngwyn Farm and member of the Llangwyrfon Agriscope group said: "This project aims to identify the right mix of natural feeds, that when fed to lambs, will boost the Omega 3 levels in the lean muscle tissue."

The farmers are trying to find the feed formula that will raise the Omega 3 levels in the lamb. If successful, high Omega 3 lamb will join other products that have an enhanced Omega 3 profile, such as bread and milk.

HCC recognised the potential of the idea and was delighted to offer assistance. Prys Morgan, HCC's industry development manager, said: "Welsh farmers are rapidly developing a reputation for pushing back the boundaries and adding value to their quality produce and this group are fine examples of that drive."